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How to Add Arm Movements in Irish Step Dancing

Learn how to add arm movements in Irish step dancing in this Howcast dance video.


How to add arm movements to Irish Step Dancing.

Irish Step Dancing is notable and unusual in that, for the most part, the arms are not used in Irish Dance. Rather, they are held down by the side while the dancer's feet move very very quickly, as seen here.

Particularly in competitive Irish Dance, the arms are held down tightly down by the side.

However, in different contexts, such as shows and performances, arm movement can be added into Irish Dance.

One of the most common ways to add arm movements to Irish Dance is to accentuate the movement by placing the arms on the hips. In this position, be careful that one's fingers are pressed tightly together and do not look like claws, as seen here.

Rather the fingers are tight and straight and pointing into a v-shape. Thumbs are resting gently on the waist and shoulders are just slightly forward to accentuate the shape of hands on hips.

To experiment further with choreographing arm movements for Irish Dance one idea is to have the arm movements imitate the shape the legs are making.

For example, in a scissor step, the legs make a scissor shape, as do the arms, like this.

Additionally, when traveling in Irish Dance, you can think about having the arms open and close in alternating sequences.

For example, when doing a side Sevens step with the legs, the arms could be open in a nice diagonal step. And.

Finishing that sequence with a pivot turn, the arms could close above the chest.

Reversing this, on a diagonal step, the arms could be open in a nice diagonal shape. And.

Closing off, arms come in above the chest and you finish with a pivot turn.

These are some ideas about how to add arms into Irish Step Dance.

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